10 best tips to avoid the golf etiquette police!

Dress code, honour and FORE! - our 10 best tips when it comes to golf etiquette.

Andy Roberts's picture
Submitted by Andy Roberts on

Golf is perhaps one of the only sports where etiquette is written into the Rules.

We're not instructed to applaud a batsmen off the field after scoring a half-century in cricket, or urged to lift an opponent to his feet after tackling him on the football pitch. Nor are we encouraged to reverse a line call that's called out when we know it's in during a tennis match.

However, golf etiquette is an essential part of the game and is even covered in Rule 33-7:

If a player is guilty of a serious breach of etiquette [the committee] may impose a penalty of disqualification under this Rule.


Golf often gets criticism for being stuffy or backward in its traditions but this is a misconception. Basic courtesies shown to fellow players are merely common sense actions that most would show in consideration to others off the course, too.

Most sports have unwritten rules on how conduct yourself, it's just that golf takes it a step further in Section 1 of its Rules of Golf which it describes under the heading ‘Etiquette and behaviour on the course’.

But for new golfers looking to Get into Golf, we've compiled our best 10 tips to keep you out of trouble with the 'Golf Etiquette Police'.


Clothing for golf can be expensive and if you're still unsure whether to stick at it, major investment in trying to look cool on the course isn’t worth it.

In the UK and Ireland denim jeans and tracksuit bottoms are still too informal to be tolerated on any course, and the same goes for replica football gear, collar-less vests and T-shirts with slogans. 

Traditional polo shirts and slacks are perfectly acceptable - even shorts providing socks are included.

As for footwear, spiked or spikeless golf shoes will keep you upright as you swing the club and pass any dress code test - just remember to change into your smart shoes when walking into the clubhouse. A number of clubs do tolerate spikeless footwear in the bar, however. 

And what you wear doesn't have to be moderate in style - just pay the guys at Loudmouth Golfor Royal & Awesome a visit if you don't believe us!